Lawrence Phipps, Jr.
Even from the day of his birth on June 30, 1886 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Lawrence Phipps, Jr.’s life had already been arranged for him. The son of a very wealthy family headed by father Lawrence Phipps, Sr., a former United States senator who made a fortune working as a steel magnate for Carnegie Steel, Lawrence, Jr. was trained throughout his childhood to someday take over the family finances. While he did so willingly and responsibly, Lawrence was also active in other ways. His many worthwhile undertakings included founding and directing the Mountain States Telephone Company (now Century Link), management of the National Western Stock Show, and military service during both World War I and World War II. He was known as a great philanthropist, often conducting his charity anonymously.
A keen business sense served Lawrence well in all of his varied pursuits, but his true love in life was ranching, with a special fondness for horses. In 1929, he resurrected the Arapahoe Hunt Club, a prestigious group of horsebacked hunters who, aided by a band of eager foxhounds, pursued coyote as opposed to the English tradition of foxes. At Lawrence’s request, Frank Kistler granted permission in 1929 to the club to headquarter and hunt at the Diamond K Ranch. A few years later Lawrence was honored with the title Master of the Hunt.
During his days spent chasing the wily prey, Lawrence fell in love with the ranch’s rolling hills, and when Kistler finally succumbed to his financial woes and put the ranch up for sale in 1937, Lawrence did not hesitate to snatch it up. He renamed it Highlands Ranch and happily lived the remainder of his life here. Upon Lawrence’s death in 1976, the ranch passed to his estate, which handled its sale to Marvin Davis, head of the Highlands Venturers Corporation.